Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Makes You What You Are?

I am not often taken by the 'Are you a Jamaican?' type of messages that circulate on the Internet. But, I happened to be hit a few days ago by a question about what makes for a real Jamaican. I had not resolved whether I was or not, but was deep in the land of reminiscences as I had lunch in Barbados' best Jamaican restaurant, Kingston 10, on Bay Street. A free shout out. I had just taken my first sip of carrot juice and stout punch, and had been transported back some 50 years, to my mother's kitchen. (For those who are bewildered, a recipe is provided below as well as a link to a site for Jamaican drinks.)

My friends are used to seeing me bridle because someone says "He's English" when they hear me speak. I quickly set them straight and tell them not to be fooled by the voice. Sure, I love a lot of things about England--quite natural after living there for three decades. But my navel string is buried in Jamaica. More to say? No. Somethings just are.

Then, I got a message from a cousin. "Man, how I goin' get the gizzadas to you?" I had no idea: I had an aunt traipse off to Canada with my consignment from St. Elizabeth and had wondered how the loss would be made up. God had a plan. One of my wife's colleagues was just heading to Montego Bay for a week training Caribbean officials in something or other. He would be my 'mule'. In the twinkling of a few Facebook messages, we had hooked up and the drop was arranged. By weekend, he got back to Bim and quickly sent me a message that 'the package was safe'. A few more courier deals and the package was in my hands. The smell of cinnamon raced up my nostrils, as I squeezed the soft pastry. You see, these are special gizzada (a coconut filled pastry): not flat and open with the coconut visible, but folded like a traditional Jamaican patty, and the coconut remains moist inside. One bite and again I was on the super highway back to childhood.

Finally, on the impromptu trip down memory lane and what are you-ery, I got the following list. You will know who and what you are by the end. I know I am a Jamaican because I had to laugh.

If you need help, check out http://www.jamaicans.com/cooking/foods/fruitglossary.shtml.
Jamaica is Rum and Red Stripe.

Jamaica is Kola Champagne , Manish Water.

Jamaica is Jerk Pork, Scotch Bonnet, Hardough Bread.

Jamaica is FryFish & Bammy, Coco Bread & Patty.

Jamaica is Irie, Nyabingi, Boogooyaga, Legobeast.

Jamaica is Cornmeal Dumplin', Dasheen, Yam, Coco ... and I add Hominy Porridge

Jamaica is Pimento, Ackee & Salt Fish, Black Mango, Star Apple. ... and I add Roast Yam or Yampie

Jamaica is 'Miss Lou' ... and I add Mento Band

Jamaica is Anancy and Big Boy stories ... and I add Duppy

Jamaica is Jackfruit, June plum, Nesberry, Guinep and Hogplum ... and I add Otaheite Apple (see picture)

Jamaica is Busta, Icy mint, and Paradise plum.

Jamaica is 'Tinking toe, Drops, Gizzada, and Grater cake.

Jamaica is Bun and cheese , and Sorrel and Rum cake.

Jamaica is 'GRANDMARKET NIGHT!' ... and I add Nine Nights

Jamaica is Doouckunu, Dip and Fall Back, Run-down.

Jamaica is Bulla, Totoe , Festival and Salt Fish Fritters.

Jamaica is Peppa shrimps, blue draws, Roast breadfruit and corned pork ... and I add Patties

Jamaica is Chalice, splif, sensi and lamb's bread.

Jamaica is Cool runnings, cease and settle, haul and pull up and
nuff respect. ... and I add Tek weh yu self

Jamaica is Reggae Boyz.

Jamaica is Ital stew, Strong Back, Irish Moss, Cerasee Tea.

Jamaica is Kin-Puppa-Lick!!, Blouse and skirt!!, Gouzum!!

Jamaica is Rahtid!!, Blough-wow!!, Geeze-u-wiz!!

Jamaica is Boonoonoonous

Jamaica is 'Suck-suck and sky-juice.'

Jamaica is Wi likkle but wi talawah!

Jamaica is Wey yu a sey, Wha' a gwan? & How it a go dung?

Jamaica is Bull-buck and duppy conqueror ... and I add 'If is bad you bad'

Jamaica is Zinc fence and gully water.

Jamaica is Escoviche fish, Julie mango, Oxtail, Tripe and beans ... and I add Stew Peas and Rice

Jamaica is Icy mint and Bus-mi-jaw.

Jamaica is 'Stop de cow bawling eena de place.'

Jamaica is 'Anyting wha sweet yu gwine sour yu.'

Jamaica is 'Weh yu kibba yu mout?'

Jamaica is Dandy Shandy ... and I add Ting

Jamaica is 'A hell an powdah house dunga tiday.'

Jamaica is 'Nu mek mi spit an it dry up before yu cum back'



Stout Punch

1 Guinness Stout (12 oz.)

2 cups Rum Raisin Ice Cream

1 Egg or Egg White

2 tbsp. Sugar

¼ cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tsp. Grated Nutmeg

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 cup Crushed Ice


Add egg, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar to an Electric Blender. Turn selector to whip for two minutes, and then stop.

Add ice cream, and then turn the selector to puree for a minute. Now add ½ bottle of the stout to the mixture, allow the froth to set a little.

Turn the selector to puree for a minute. Add the rest of the stout and vanilla. Puree again… then taste the “blem.” If it’s not sweet enough add more sweetened condensed milk to taste.

When you get the right taste, add the crushed ice to the mix and turn selector to whip for two minutes.

Serve in small glasses and sprinkle nutmeg on each drink.

Culture Juice:

Add Carrot Juice to this mix and you get Culture Juice.

You may want to reduce the amount of ice cream in this drink before you do this combination.

1 comment:

angela cox said...

ya mon. i enjoyed reading your comments very interesting and very funny at the same time.dont worry be happy.by the way i have a very big ackee tree in my backyard in the U.S.A. Anyhow don't forget dominoes too and white rum.and lots of women some of the good life for the Jamaican man. just before i go did you mention irish moss.i don't think so.